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Tea Party

tea pots

I love a tea party. I love everything about tea. So when I was invited to the Victorian Tea at Parsonsfield Seminary in North Parsonsfield, Maine I put it on my calendar.

M vteaI brought my small sketch book, ink pen and watercolor pencils. I knew I would be pressed for time. I walked around during the lawn concert and sketched the ladies in their fancy hats and outfits!

hats&gowns sketch 7.20.14 hats sketch VT 7.20.14hats sketch 7.20.14When we all went indoors for tea I stationed myself near the kitchens and the tea station where all the fancy food and tea were dispensed from 2 kitchens.

VteaServers brought tea and food to four different dinning rooms. It was impressive!

tea pots sketch 7.20.14I need to go back and paint the tea pots and cups on a quiet day when I can concentrate and paint these lovely objects in oil.

tea pots sketch7.20.14I think a nice autumn day after the hustle and bustle of summer is over would be nice. Especially on one of those days when a cup of tea would be perfect!

parsem

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Lobster Picnic in Maine

Lobster 1Lobster & Lemons, 6×6 oil.

I set up a lobster picnic in my back garden the other day. A landscape painter doing a still life painting?  Well, at least I painted it outdoors in the open air, in the continuously changing light.

Lobter set upFood paintings were a big thing for me this past winter. It looks like they are circling back. I adjusted to painting these square panels and now I like painting them.Lobster 2

Lobster & Lemon Wedges. 6×8 oil

I never knew I would get hooked on painting small, still life paintings of food. They are so much fun!

Lobster 3Lobster Picnic, 5×7 oil

Now I’m trying out a few other sizes just to see how they work. The weather has been perfect for this!

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Nature’s Perfect Design

mary-byrom_slicedapple1When I’m cutting an apple I often cut it in half and then into thin slices. I love the way the center of the apple looks with the seeds  exposed. Another perfect  design from nature.

Apple Perfection, 6×6, oil, $450. Available. Framed.




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An Apple a Day…

Apple & knifeIt’s really nice to have all these super fresh, local foods. When I bring home a bushel of apples from the orchard I start thinking of all the recipes I will make. I love making pies, crisps and chutney. The smell of apples cooking in the kitchen fills the whole house with their fragrance. Heavenly!

Apple & Knife. 6×6, oil. $450. Available. Framed.




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Eat Local

mary-byrom_appleMy new “tea paintings” started it all.  They made me think about food and the significance it has in our lives. Food is a big deal. What we eat says a lot about who we are and where we come from.

I’m lucky to live in a rural area where farms are close by.  Tractors drive on the road by my house.  Big apple orchards are nearby. I buy my apples by the bushel, directly from the orchard store. I buy them until their cold storage is empty in the spring. Then I wait till late summer when the early Macs are ripe again. Giles Family Farm in Alfred, Maine is my “go to” local orchard.  The have the best cranapple cider you ever tasted.

Just Picked, 6×6, oil. Available.  $450 Framed.




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Tea in the Afternoon

mary-byrom_teawlemonIf you start drinking tea in childhood,  you are always a tea drinker. When I drank coffee for the first time I was in high school. I tasted it, then thought it was too harsh and bitter. Later in college everyone drank coffee when meeting with friends so I picked up the habit and developed a taste for it. But it was not my first love. It did not have the mellow vibe of afternoon tea.

When I drink tea I remember my friend Amy , my mom and I having a cup of tea together in the afternoon.  It’s usually a spring or fall day and the late afternoon light shines golden through the kitchen windows.

Tea with Lemon, 6×6,oil. Sold.

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Tea with Lemon

Teacup w:lemonI was five years old the first time I drank a cup of tea. I was at a tea party with my mother. Tea was poured into a fancy china cup for me. I was offered cream and sugar. Cream?  Sugar?  You bet…I’ll have both!  I put a heaping teaspoon of sugar in the cup, then poured in so much cream it looked like ivory.

While the adults talked I happily sipped away on this warm, sweet concoction. Now I drink hot tea in a number of different ways, usually with out sugar.

A slice of Lemon, Waiting for Tea, 6×6. Oil, Sold.

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A Cup of Tea

teacup & spoonIt all started with a tea cup. Back in 2004 when I left the studio to paint outdoors, I never looked back.

Last year I started painting really large paintings outdoors. They took too long to finish on location and I had to finish them in the studio. Then I thought about painting in the studio again.  Slowing down….  No more fast moving light to deal with!

I began with a subject that has always been a part of my life. Tea.  In the afternoon, tea with my mother, tea with my best friend,  tea at the kitchen table, tea on the porch.  The memories of these rituals filled my mind.

A Cup, a Saucer and a Spoon, 6×6, oil, Sold.

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Cherry Cake Downtown

Cherry Cake

Most of you know that I spend a lot of time painting outdoors. This new food painting series has taken me indoors. It’s exciting and so much fun!

I’m accustomed to people stopping by to see what I’m doing at the easel outdoors. But sitting next to me having dinner while I paint?

Music is playing and the room hums with conversations.  I’m standing there in the midst of it all making a painting. Concentration. Focus. Mental acuity.  I start the painting, I build it, I finish it, I pack up and walk outside… then I exhale.